John Hubbard

Light Structure


Not on display

John Hubbard 1931–2017
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1727 × 2030 mm
frame: 1830 × 2135 × 70 mm
Purchased 1982

Catalogue entry

T03371 Light Structure 1966

Oil on canvas 68 × 80 (1727 × 2030)
Inscribed ‘JOHN HUBBARD - 1966’ incised b.l. and ‘oc 66.2/OWNER:/KATE HUBBARD/“Light Structure”/68" × 80" 1966/John Hubbard’ on reverse
Purchased from Fischer Fine Art (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Prov: Kate Hubbard; Fischer Fine Art
Exh: John Hubbard, Newlyn Art Gallery, May 1978 (4); John Hubbard, Paintings and Drawings 1962–80, Warwick Arts Trust, January–March 1981
Lit: John Hubbard, John Hubbard Paintings and Drawings 1962–80, exhibition catalogue, Warwick Arts Trust, 1981, n.p.

This painting was not displayed in the artist's exhibition at the New Art Centre in November 1967, although it is listed in the catalogue.

It was painted in his studio at Swyre, on the Dorset coast, and was based on this landscape, although it does not show any particular features and was ‘essentially dealing with atmosphere rather than features like woodland or hills’ (letter of 25 May 1986). It is one of about ten paintings of this kind made during the years 1964–6, which he studied in charcoal drawings and small oil sketches, all also made in his studio. The artist wrote of the painting (letter of 2 March 1982):

I consider this one of my most successful Dorset landscapes of the 1960s, belonging to the lyrical more extrovert group based on the movement of light across the hills near the sea. The composition is less overtly dramatic than in other paintings of this period, also the brushwork, and I was trying (in Turner's words) to consider ‘every part as receiving and emitting rays to every surrounding surface’.

In his introduction to the catalogue of his retrospective exhibition at the Warwick Arts Trust in 1981, the artist referred to the painting as an example of his interest in artists of the past (as opposed to being exclusively a ‘modernist’):

...many artists of the past [are] just as vital as my contemporaries, and many of my paintings contain certain deliberate references to them. ‘Light Structure’ (1966), for example, is one of several homages to Turner...

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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